Monday, June 25, 2012

Easy Barbie Cake

This year Milla wanted a Barbie cake, she has been asking for it, almost since last years castle cake. Then again, what little girl doesn't want a Barbie cake? It's almost like a right of passage or something. For anyone who is nervous about making birthday cakes... steer your kid into the direction of choosing this cake because it is easy!

What you'll need

Small Pyrex bowl
Small round cake tin
3 Cake batters (I made butter cakes) 
Your icing of choice (coloured as you want)
Pretty Cake Base

1. Cook one cake batter in a well greased and floured Pyrex bowl, cook two other normal round cakes.

2. Once the three cakes are cooled completely, layer them so the Pyrex dome is on top, trim around the bottom round cakes to align the edges with the top dome. 

"Help me I'm stuck!!" says Barbie standing in 2 of 3 cakes.

3. Put cling wrap around Barbie's legs and push her feet through the cakes, top to bottom. Some people cut a hole and slide her in... I didn't bother, but go for it if you want. Gently put it onto your cake base.

4. Do a thin "crumb layer"* of icing and put it in the fridge to set.

5. Do a top coat of icing. I used my icing spatular to do a swirl pattern because I didn't like the look of it smooth

6. Decorate however you like. I used store bought icing flowers, hearts and some edible glitter (white)  

Helpful Hint: Choose a Barbie that has a cute bodice... that way you only have to make the skirt.

Milla and her friends loved the cake.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Using Fabric To Cover A Cake Base

Cake Bases are usually covered in aluminium foil, which is a great option because it is easy to clean if any icing gets onto it during the cake decorating process. However, sometimes I find that Al-foil just doesn't have the Pa-zaz that I'm chasing. So I thought I would try something different by using some cute fabric I have in my crafty boxes. 

Usually I cover my chopping board and use that as the solid cake base, I don't see the point in buying something like a proper cake base when I can use cardboard for a round one and my chopping boards for rectangles. Cheap and effective. But today I thought I'd try using my Lazy-Suzan (You know what that is right?) But you can cover what ever you want.

Fabric Covered Cake Base! 

Round Lazy-Suzan

cutie-pie fabric

Lay out your fabric, print facing down. 
Place cake base on it

Go to town with sticky tape... well, not really, just as much as you want to secure it.

We used heaps more than we had to, cause Milla was having fun with the sticky tape. 

Flip it over and say ooh-la-la! Pretty Polka-dot!

To save your fabric while decorating, either slide baking paper under the sides once the cake is placed where you want it or do as I did and put baking paper down first and place cake on top.

TIP: Don't do one big strip of baking paper, you are going to want to easily slide these out later after the decorations are done. 

Messy baking paper while decorating. 

Clean fabric when finished.


Next post is on what the whole cake looks like! More photos to come!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4 More Sleeps

In 4 more sleeps my baby girl is turning 4. I've heard parents with grown up kids say that they blinked and the time was gone... I totally understand that! I'm sure she was only just born??!! Thankfully she is still little and I have to keep reminding myself she is younger than she acts. 

Milla is a delight. An absolute chatter box delight. She melts our heart and she talks just like me, her favourite thing to say at the moment is "Mummy, I have an idea, it's a good idea..." and "I like sharing" when she spots someone with chocolate.

Our best laugh this year came from a conversation between Milla and David.

"Thank you Jesus that Milla is eloquent" says daddy
"I'm not an elephant!!" Milla exclaims "I have toes!!"

So Mummy is in Barbie Party planing mode. Cakes and chocolate crackles, decorating and balloons. 
And (thanks to Pinterest!) I have way too many ideas to run with (and high Pinterest-worthy standards to live up too! hehe

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Temporary Backboard for Picture Frames.

I have a bunch of frames that I have picked up along the way, some complete, some not so complete. Most of them are not complete because I have lost the glass, broken the glass, the original picture was ruined in it, or I accidentally threw out the backing in one of my over enthusiastic clean outs. 

Anyways, I had super-awesome idea and three almost matching frames to accomplish it- but no back boards! oh poop. 

Temporary Backboard for Picture Frames. 

What you'll need:
Cute picture found on Pinterest ha!

I always have cardboard in the house, a nappy box, an appliance box, moving box, something. So I rounded up an empty one and cut it to size. 

Check that it fits...  Press your pencil into the cardboard inside the four corners. 

Match up the four dots left by your pencil.

Cut it out

Put it together like you would a normal frame.

Ta-Da... 3 Frames of awesomeness. All with cardboard backings

If you want extra-sturdy permanent back boards, use MDF
In the mean time try this!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Project: Kitchen Canvas Complete

I finished painting the walls at my beautiful friends house and got to hang up the canvas I showed you yesterday!!

Here she is!!

And for some size perspective... here I am with it... It's huge! 

(Ignore my pile of tools in the corner!) 

I love it! And I need one for my house now! Ha!  

P.S I painted that wall behind it, it was yellow (with bits of grey showing through) Oh how I love a fresh painted wall! So refreshing. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Transferring To A Canvas

I've been working on a little project for my friend over the last few days and days to come. She mentioned her walls needed a refresh, aka, a small paint job to even out the old paintwork... I, as always, heard "Lets have a makeover!!!!" 

So I turned up with goodies and all my favourite paint brushes, sander, putty. Lets get this party started!!  Fixed up some of the little daily wall nicks and old nail holes (in prep for new ones!! yes!) I admired her gorgeous cottage old school ceiling trims and window frames. There is a bare wall in her dining room which is just calling out for some Newly Antique love! So I have whipped up a little something to fill the gap. 

Build a Simple Frame
I grabbed some lumber, 2 equal lengths and 2 longer equal lengths, nail it all together to make a frame. Ran down to the local fabric shop and pick up some fabric that was too cute to resist, staple gun it taught to the fame. Ta-Da cheap as chips wall display. It would be perfect to use just like that, hang it on a wall as a fabric feature but I wanted to add just a little more detail to mine.

I have been loving the look of the rustic knives and forks that have been floating around Internet-land. Some people have huge knives or forks hanging on their walls, some people squash them and put them into picture frames, lots of ideas, but I like the look of drawn utensils and thought that would make a great addition to my Dinning room canvas. So I googled images of utensils till I found ones that I liked.

How I transfer to a Canvas

I am lucky enough to own an old school projector, I love it! If you don't own one, they do make mini versions at Art supply shops or, head to your local school/college and see if you can use theirs!

1. Print your picture out onto transparent paper.
I used a normal home printer onto laminate paper, it was all I could find that was transparent. The Ink didn't set completely but that doesn't matter because I'm not keeping it anyways. You could also trace your picture if it's not too complicated, like I did for my Alphabet Stencils 

(Hello Painting clothes!)

2. Using a projector, shine your image onto the canvas. 
Move it around till you're happy with placement and size.

3. Trace it onto your canvas.
I used fabric pens for this part, however pencil works just as well and if you have tons and tons and tons of time and you don't have to pack it all away before the kids wake up you could paint it on.  

My helpful hint: Stand in front of the projector light every now and then to see what it looks like without the shadow on it, this will help you gage how it's turning out and what needs to be coloured in more, traced more/less etc. Oo! And! Projectors make for great light box's... just you know, if you do end up with one! Ha! 

Spare pen kept in my hair... as usual.

Simple and easy, hardest part is locating a projector! But if you don't ask, you'll never know who has one. Bet all my friends didn't know I have one.  

This canvas is for someone else so I'll have the final 
canvas pictures once it's up on her wall.

Much love!! xx 

{Knives and Forks Picture Source}

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Something To Think On

This gorgeous ultrasound which makes me so clucky is my beautiful first born Milla. She is an absolute delight, although pregnancy was very rough, she is worth every second... every moment. She was worth going through morning all-day sickness, carpel tunnel, insomnia, Pre-ecclampsia, and much more glamorous things, natural labour and delivery.  


*Although Siv wasn't the original person to coin this statement,
 she was the one I heard... so for now, until I find the original, 
her name will accompany this post.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Autumn Leaves Are Falling

At one point today I had 6 Kids in my house! It was pretty busy around here, I had to keep chasing the kids outside with their muddy boots. As soon as I had finished cleaning the carpet from the first track of muddy boots, the next princess would trot in and get chased back out, but not before leaving some beautiful tracks for me to clean. Eventually they got the hang of it and took their shoes off on the mud mat.

Once half of the sprogs had gone down for a nap and the rest played Barbies quietly. I looked out at my beautiful Autumn looking yard and it seems my trees have finally decided it's winter enough for them to shed their leaves. I love it! The colours are magnificent! 

However if I leave all the leaves they will ruin my grass, phooey. 

Rake, rake, rake, 5 bags full...

This guy, cheering me on and "helping" me out.

And then! And THEN!! The tree had the audacity to do this!! ha! 

Oh well, seems I have a few more loads yet to do...

Seriously though! How gorgeous is it when the autumn leave are about?! Just makes my eyes happy.

Happy Saturday everyone! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Priming Without Sanding, Lets Give It A Go!

So I drove past Bunnings today, and Phoenix got all excited and pointed to it like he was desperate to go in... Being the great Mum I am, I obliged.  Ha! What a great mum I am *insert cheeky smile* ... OK I am serious that he was excited to see it, but I may have felt the excitement deep down inside too. Mumma was having DIY shopping withdrawals and needed to view some paint chips to feel better. 

I've been surfing around Blog-land and Pinterest looking at different furniture make overs, because there is so much information out there and why not glean information off everyones mistakes and victories. Plus I'm a DIY addict- if you didn't already guess that! 

This little post from iCreate... With Love caught my eye...

It wasn't the dresser that interested me so much, it was this little picture....

Oh have my prayers been answered!? But where would I find it? Is it even available in Australia? So many blogs are American based and the products they love are not available here *boohoo!!*  I know right? annoying. 

This Primer can go over pretty much anything, and I mean anything! Without sanding!! So remember where I left you back there with my Bunnings obsession? I mean DIY obsession? I FOUND THIS PRIMER!!  Zinsser, my hopes are pinned on you baby! I have a lot of planned and projects for you! 

Click on the picture to see some more blah-blah details OK

This is the one that I got. And this weekend it has a date with my brush! I'll let you know how it goes.

Many thanks to I Create... With Love for posting the project!!  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Barbra Streisand and Toy sorting

It is so cold and drizzly! I spent all morning searching baby shops, target, Big W for a kids booster seat- with no luck unfortunately- I needed to defrost and have lunch.  What a great opportunity to watch a new classic movie! Today's is Funny Girl. I am having a Barbra Streisand sort of day so this classic is probably going to get followed up by Hello, Dolly! 

I don't often get to sit and watch the movies I put on, but I do love having it on in the background while I potter around. Because I have seen the movie already I don't have to sit and watch to know what's happening.

Any more suggestions for my rainy days?


This guy and I got to spend lots of time together, just us. So we played cars together. I am loving how he has changed to a real toddler these days, all the cars say "Brrrrrrrrrruummmmmm" and his most favourite thing is when the cars crash. Oh boy.  

We also went through all the kids toy collections to pack away the infant toys, throw away any broken things or accumulated trash. I ended up with a whole box of toys for donation and another of infant toys to store away... not sure what for, I'm not planning any more scrumptious kid-lings. They are my favourite toys that right now instantly transports me back to those tiny, skinny little baby toes... yeah you know what I'm talking about! Those little piggies!!    

I plan to (eventually) keep only one or two infant toys and one or two toddler toys so that when I am out of baby season but my friends come over with their little dream boats I'll still have something to keep them entertained. Nothing worse (well I'm sure there is) than being somewhere with your kids and not having anything to keep them entertained- a book, colouring, blocks, something! Ha!

If your babies are getting bored with their stash of toys, but love their friends ones, I highly recommend storing half of your kids toys away and then rotating between the two every now and then. Keeps the kids interested in the toys they have.

Early nights to you! xx 


{Baby toys}

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Take a load off... Laundry Tips

I've had a few years now doing family laundry, weeks where I cannot keep up and get overwhelmed and others where I'm on top of my game and feel like a super mum. I am not however, a super mum. I wash socks just like the next person. 

I have learnt a few helpful hints along the way, hopefully they can help you too! 

Laundry Tips

1. Implement the rule: 
If it's not visibly dirty or smelly put it away- not in the wash basket
When you have newborn babies you get into such a habit of having to wash everything constantly. They wee-poop-spew-drool-food spills on everything and everything in a 1m radius of themselves. So that season is about washing lots and lots. But it can become a habit. Once your kids start growing a little and being a little less poopy/drooly and generally can contain their bodily fluids a tad more your washing loads should decrease.
I was doing daily loads and couldn't keep up with the washing-drying-folding-putting away. 

Then one day I watched myself clean up the bedrooms by putting all the clothes from the floor into the washing basket, telling the kids before their showers to "take your clothes off and put them in the washing basket"- regardless of if they were dirty or not! -- I was making the floors clean but creating hours more work for myself! Dah!  So now I am teaching my children...

  • Underwear/socks always in the wash
  • Shirts and pants etc check if it's visibly dirty or smelly- put away or wash depending on what you see and smell.

My weekly washing has decreased to almost only socks and jocks! With just a few odds and ends. Rather than excessive piles and loads.

2. Wash in the morning.
That way you can utilise as much sunshine as possible. Cut down your electricity bill by using the sunshine. Not only is it cheaper- but a lot of stains will come out with the help of the sun! It bleaches whites real good. It also gives you the best opportunity to attempt #3 below.  

3. Try to complete your washing cycle all in one day.
Having a load of dry washing to fold and put away from yesterday isn't very appealing or motivating to do. You will be more likely to try and avoid it as long as possible and then continue to add to the pile until it becomes so over whelming that you will need a giant block of chocolate to motivate you to sit for hours and fold. yuck. 
Give yourself some head space, complete it in the same day- you will feel better! 

4. Skip steps!!
The main step that can be skipped is folding. You can cut out extra effort and time by cutting out unnecessary steps.

  • If you have just washed your bed sheets (that morning obviously) instead of folding them... carry them straight off the line or drier and put them back on!! 
  • Towels once dried can go back on their hooks in the bathroom- no folding
  • Undies can go straight back on-- jokes!
  • Don't fold clothes that need to be hung up. Put them on hangers instead.
  • Buy everything that doesn't need to be hand washed or ironed especially for the kids!
  • Don't bother treating stains on run around kids shirt, hey, its only gonna get worse!

5. Fold Strategically 
There are 2 options here. 
  • Fold the clothes as you take them off the line. When I do this I take the clothes off the line by person, as in: all of Davids clothes folded into the basket, then take all of my clothes off (Ha! Don't be rude :) then Milla's and then Phoenixes.  That way when I go inside to put it away there is no sorting, I just go to their rooms in reverse order: Phoenix, Milla, Ours, or whatever order I did it in that day.
  • Fold on the floor where there is lots of space (just swoosh the crumbs to the side) Fold clothes and stack them into piles relating to where they will end up. So one pile of Milla's is undies and singlets because they are in the same drawer. Cuts down more time sorting once you get to the room. 

6. Incorporate Others!
Hey! You know where it belongs, put this away please!... It takes a team to make a family work. Lets do this together. Teach your kids how to do things for themselves.

Happy laundry Day!! Hope this too cuts your work load down a bit so you can enjoy doing other things like playing games with your babies xx

Monday, June 4, 2012

DIY Kids Party Invitation Ideas

Coffee Break! 

June, oh welcome to June... Its party planning time. Milla who has been counting down since her last birthday a year ago is getting very very very (understatement!) excited that her birthday is coming up. We even bought her a bed time story book about someone who has to wait for their birthday to give her some understanding of her situation. 

Milla has requested a Barbie Party. Throughout the past months it has changed slightly from a Barbie Fairy Secret Party, to once a Pirate Barbie Party. Over all the Barbie theme has stuck though. She has also requested a Barbie cake, one of those ones with the cake skirts and the doll head sticking out of the top. I love this idea- it's the easiest cake to make!! Yes!! 

I learnt quickly from her early birthday parties that I do not like big parties. Too many people, too many screaming children and siblings, it's too messy and big to cater. So Milla gets to invite her two or three besties and their mum. Small, intimate, and means the little ones who come can have special attention and a great time together.

With 2-ish weeks to go it means we need to get invitations out! Milla is super crafty and loves to decorate so ideally I need to combine the two... Invitations that she can decorate!  

Store bought ones are great for time-poor or creatively-challenged lovelies, but here are 5 ideas to consider if you want to do invitations from home. 

5 Ideas for DIY Kids Invitations

1. Different Paper options.
Using your printer at home you can use a Document Program (like WORD for example) to print on all sorts of paper....
             Colouring in pages (google search colouring pages! there are so many), 
             Favourite Story book page, 
             Print out of their favourite character, 
             Coloured card cut into shapes/characters,
             Coloured Paper,
             White plain paper.

2. 3D Decorations.
Little kids (3+age) love cutting and gluing, stickers, sparkles, colouring in, painting. Not much can make a little one prouder, than to show off something that they have created for someone. It also adds a very personal touch. Bust out the craft box! 

3.Use Your Child's Handwriting
If your child can write or copy really well, get them to write some of the details like their own name at the bottom and their friends name at the top. Again it gives them a sense of pride in their work and well, really, it is their invite to their friend so why not! Ha! 

(The crayon is just hiding some personal details ;-) not part of the invite... although if I had sticky tape left Milla would definitely have stuck it on!)

4. Fold Creatively
You don't have to stick to the Card format, folded in half and that's it.
           Roll it and tie with a bow,
           Fold all four corners into the centre to make an envelope shape and put a sticker      
           there to hold it,
           Any origami shape you know how to do,
           Let your child fold it however they can to fit into an envelope.

5. Contain it Creatively
How is your child going to deliver the invite? You could together come up with a creative idea that suits the theme of the party 
          Confetti in an envelope,
          Message in a bottle,
          In a clean Noodle box,
          Wrapped like a present,
          Inside a blown up balloon,
          On a gift tag accompanied by a flower,
          In a decorated cardboard tube (loo roll;)
          Front page of a kids book,
          In a clean (label removed) Baby food jar,
          Cheap toy shops - Grab a cheap toy cement truck and put the invite in the tumbler 
                                      - Put a mini invite rolled up and popped into a dinosaurs mouth

Think invitations outside of the paper box...
You don't even have to stick to paper for your invites! 
Let your mind wander!

         Fabric and fabric markers
         Fabric and sew on invitation
         Mini pin cousins with details written on.
         Shirt with theme printed on it and details written in a corner or on the inside
         Porcelain pen on a plate/cup
         A Find-it-Jar with the details hidden in amongst little objects 
         Mini Bunting with the details on each triangle
         Edit a photo in Photoshop and add text.

Expect to make a little mess, and expect it to be a little bit less clean cut than you would like. Make some allowances for your kids creativity (aka mess) They will remember the journey to their birthday party, not just the day ;-) 

        While they are crafting... lets have coffee